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Year Of The Black Rainbow

4.3 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2010 album from the American Alt-Rockers, their heavily anticipated fifth studio album. Year of the Black Rainbow provides the prequel to the band's four previous inter-related concept albums, which comprise The Amory Wars. The album was produced by Atticus Ross (Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction) and Joe Baressi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool). The record features the studio debut of Coheed and Cambria drummer Chris Pennie, who has been playing alongside Claudio Sanchez, guitarist Travis Stever and bassist Michael Robert Todd since 2007 and was featured on Neverender: Children of the Fence Edition, the CD/DVD box set documentation of the fall/winter 2008 four-night stands during which the band played its catalog in its entirety, one album per night, in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and London.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 13, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: April 13, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 54 minutes
  • ASIN: B0036WHM14
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,488 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There are some people out there who simply don't like Coheed. Maybe it's Claudio's high-pitched singing, maybe it's his huge frizzy hair, but something about the band turns them off. Other people are obsessed with the band. These people tend to love pretty much everything the band releases, and these are the same people who have religiously read the comics that tell the story of the music.

On the other hand, I fall in between these two extremes. I think Coheed is a great band. In fact, I think that if history is fair, they would be regarded in the future as one of the premier bands of this era, much the same way that classic bands from the 60's and 70's are thought of now. I particularly liked Coheed's second and third albums, but I think their first exhibited "Debut Syndrome" where a band hasn't quite reached its potential, and their fourth release exhibits "Mid-Career Rush-To-Release Syndrome", where a talented and successful band pushes a release out the door without taking the time to make sure it's up to the standard of their previous releases.

Year of the Black Rainbow, however, is everything I've ever wanted in a Coheed album, for the following reasons:

1) FOCUS: A fair criticism of the band's past releases is that they lack focus. Sure, there is a cohesive story, but I'm not talking about that. What I mean is, everything from album titles, song titles, song lengths, and consistency indicate that the band tries to do too much. Compare the two Good Apollo volumes (for example, the first had a title with 15 words in it, and the second had a 5-song way-too-drawn-out closing epic), versus YOTBR. The album title, song titles, and song lengths on YOTBR are symbolic of the new focus of the band. Sure, you might say "Who cares about titles?
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Format: Audio CD
Year of the Black Rainbow is the fifth studio album from the concept rock band Coheed & Cambria. This album represents the prequel story to the saga and is intended to tell the events leading up to Coheed's first studio album The Second Stage Turbine Blade. This deluxe edition (which I would highly recommend) comes with the studio album + bonus tracks, a 350 page novel telling the story of The Year of the Black Rainbow, and a documentary DVD about the making of the album. Each component is reviewed briefly below. I'm sorry the review is so long but I had to review a CD, a DVD, and a novel! If you don't care about the details, to sum it all up - you should buy this album. If you already knew you were going to get the album but were curious about the deluxe edition - you should buy the deluxe edition. Details below:

Year of the Black Rainbow CD:

For their fifth album, Coheed and Cambria have continued the evolution of their sound. Several of the songs contain an electronic influence through the use of keyboards, but the overall sound is still undeniably Coheed. As the lead singer/songwriter Claudio Sanchez states in the documentary DVD, beginning the writing process with these electronic elements helped him to break through his writer's block and to make songwriting fun again. The use of the electronic elements isn't overdone at all and I think it really complements the sound of the album as a whole. In addition, this is the first album that new drummer Chris Pennie has recorded on. You can immediately hear the difference in style that he brings to the table on many of these songs. Chris is an amazingly talented and technical drummer and you can hear his skills in his unique beats and his quick and precise fills.
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By JKC on April 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD
To give a point of reference, I am a huge fan of this band. I am not a fan who knows the story like the back of my hand, but I am someone who appreciates the talent, creativity, and innovation they have displayed to this point. The music has always been where it's at for me. Their first three albums have forever placed them among my top three favorite bands.

That said, this one has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. My first taste was "The Broken", via their myspace page, and my first couple listens through that song left me nervous about the forthcoming album release. If that was the direction, I was not sure I was interested. I know I am not alone in this sentiment, and like many others, I decided not to let that doubt prematurely ruin this album for me. I reserved judgment until I could take in the album as a whole. I am glad I did.

It took longer for this one to "sink in". Probably because of the wall of sound surrounding the real music beneath. That is my biggest gripe with this release, and it is really unfortunate. I listen to Good Apollo vol 1 and enjoy the bits of production and sound effects. Here it all seems a bit too much. I cannot help but wonder how this is going to sound live.

However, after a little over a week of listening to nothing but YotBR, it has grown on me considerably. Without too much searching I have been able to find the Coheed that I love. Part of that is in the progression of their sound, but I can hear parts of all of their work in this album. I truly enjoy this album and am very relieved that my first impression of "The Broken" was not upheld. I have even grown to like that song quite a bit.

Overall I would liked to have given a 3.75, but since I cannot, I rate it a 4.
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